Friday, August 11, 2017

Postmodernism in the hallways at Google

As you are aware, Google has fired an engineer who dared suggest in a memo the company consider political diversity in its hiring. Oh the impudence.
When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google's left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies.
James Damore was fired by Danielle Brown.
James Damore is an FIDE chess master who studied at Princeton, MIT and Harvard. He had been working as a software engineer at Google for four years. Danielle Brown is the new Vice President of Diversity at Google. She has an MBA from the University of Michigan and campaigned for Hillary. She had been working at Google for a few weeks.
Interesting lines of authority at Google if a member of the staff can fire a line employee. Whatever.

The most interesting reaction for me was this from Geoffrey Miller is an evolutionary psychology professor at University of New Mexico.
Here, I just want to take a step back from the memo controversy, to highlight a paradox at the heart of the ‘equality and diversity’ dogma that dominates American corporate life. The memo didn’t address this paradox directly, but I think it’s implicit in the author’s critique of Google’s diversity programs. This dogma relies on two core assumptions:
  1. The human sexes and races have exactly the same minds, with precisely identical distributions of traits, aptitudes, interests, and motivations; therefore, any inequalities of outcome in hiring and promotion must be due to systemic sexism and racism;
  2. The human sexes and races have such radically different minds, backgrounds, perspectives, and insights, that companies must increase their demographic diversity in order to be competitive; any lack of demographic diversity must be due to short-sighted management that favors groupthink. 
The obvious problem is that these two core assumptions are diametrically opposed.
The Left has a hard time with its thinking, because it is just making it up as it goes along. It is wrapped up in what is called postmodernism, which"asserts to varying degrees that claims to knowledge and truth are products of social, historical or political discourses or interpretations, and are therefore contextual or socially constructed. Accordingly, postmodern thought is broadly characterized by tendencies to epistemological and moral relativism, pluralism, irreverence and self-referentiality."

Benjamin Studebaker, an American doing a PhD in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, writes:
I take postmodernists to affirm what I’ll call “the core postmodern premise,” which states: Reason itself is a construct which serves the interest of powerful and dominant social groups. 
This goes much further than older left wing accounts. Where traditional leftists might affirm that say, racism is best understood as a systemically reproduced oppressive ideology, postmodernism would affirm that reason itself is a form of oppressive ideology. For postmodernists the rules for what counts as knowledge or what counts as valid argument are themselves social constructs which further entrench oppression.
And so we get this from Frank Lentricchia, a professor at Duke:
"As a professor ... one seeks not to find the foundation and the conditions of truth but to exercise power for the purpose of social change.”
This is the kind of rot that has now infested Google. If you own its stock, you might think about diversifying. I'm not sure this kind of thinking leads to profits.

No comments:

Post a Comment